Thank you for your interest in participating in the 2017 Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival! Our Novice Team Division has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years, with significant interest from a wide range of corporate and community organizations.
In addition, you can read our Novice Team Registration Packet or our Novice Team Frequently Asked Questions.
Where can I find up-to- date information about the Hong Economic & Trade Office Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival?
For information regarding the Hong Economic & Trade Office Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival, please visit www.sfdragonboat.com. Please note that the website will be updated each week with relevant information. For more information about the California Dragon Boat Association, go to www.cdba.org.
Novice teams are allowed three practices or less in a dragon boat season as described in the California Dragon Boat Official Rules and Regulations. While they may have participated in past years in the Novice Division, they have not practiced year round together nor raced in a competitive division.
According the California Dragon Boat Official Rules and Regulations, the minimum amount of paddlers on each boat is 16, of which a minimum of 10 women must be part of the crew. A maximum of 20 paddlers may be on the boat at one time. Teams will have one drummer and one steersperson on each boat. Teams are allowed to have a maximum of 4 alternate racers on the official roster for the team. Therefore, a maximum of 26 names may be listed on the final roster for each boat which includes 24 paddlers, a drummer and a steersperson.
No prior experience is necessary. The CDBA will provide novice teams with experienced coaches who will train you and your team to perform at your best on race day. The coach will go over technique basics and commands to help your team have a fun and safe dragon boat experience.
Learning to dragon boat is made easier with the help from experienced coaches. Anyone who has the interest and drive to learn will learn the basics of dragon boating on a novice level quickly and with ease. It is a great sport that is both mental and physical which makes it challenging and fun. Becoming a master of the technique will take a lot of time, but learning to compete at the novice level can be accomplished from scratch within three practices.
There is no one straight answer, but it is very important to recognize that dragon boating is a team sport. Each member acting together as a crew in sync can be more important than strength and speed. Working together in sync, concentration, endurance, strength, and having a competitive spirit will increase your team’s edge. Have fun, showing up to practices, and being a team player – that’s what dragon boating is all about.
Must novice teams provide their own equipment such as paddles, life jackets/personal floatation devices (“PFDs”), or boats?
No, the CDBA will provide teams with the above equipment on scheduled practice dates and on race day if necessary as part of the novice team race registration fees. If your team or teammates would like to use their personal life jackets or paddles, these items must follow the guidelines detailed in the most recent California Dragon Boat Official Rules and Regulations which can be found at the www.sfdragonboat.com website. (Only US Coast Guard Approved Class III or higher PFDs are allowed).
Only certified steerspersons are allowed to steer for dragon boat teams. The steersperson is ultimately responsible for the safety of the boat. The CDBA will provide steerspersons to Novice Teams who require this role for practices and on race day. A list of steerspersons will be available on race day and it is the Team Captain’s responsibility to ensure that their respective team has a steersperson for each race. In most cases, your assign coach will work to ensure that you have proper steerspeople arranged.
We typically do not encourage Novice Teams to utilize their own members as a drummer for their team unless that person has prior experience. Drummers play very critical safety and racing roles in the boat as they are the eyes of the front of the boat and relay commands given by the steersperson and the strokes.
Contact Hilland Chiu at email@example.com or Linda Cheu at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a practice time. We will work with available coaches and your team to coordinate the dates and times of your team’s practices. Novice Teams are allowed three practices which are usually scheduled to take place during the month before the race.
Practices will be held at one of the three following locations:
- Lake Merced
Harding Road San Francisco, CA 94132
- Parking Information: Parking is free of charge. There are several parking areas around the practice site but please use the 2nd parking lot furthest to the left as you face the Boat House (this will be to the left of the fenced-in lot that is directly to the left of the Boat House). If that lot is full, park in the spots across the street from the Boat House. The practice site is across the street down the hill at the boat ramp.
- Bair Island Aquatic Center
1450 Maple Street Redwood City, CA 94063 (www.gobair.org)
- Parking Information: You can only park on the street before the left turn on Maple Street. DO NOT PARK after the turn, in front of BIAC, behind the building, or across the street. Double parking is prohibited at all times. Carpooling is encouraged whenever possible. For your safety and security, do not leave valuables visible in your car.
- Jack London Aquatic Center
115 Embarcadero Avenue, Oakland, CA 94607
Official Team Roles
- Team Captain- must be a crew member. Responsible for organizing the team and providing leadership. Works with the assigned coach to make crew decisions.
- Team Manager- May or may not be a crew member. Helps with administrative paperwork, registration, waivers, and general practice and race day organization.
Examples of Other Team Roles
- Warm Up Leader
- Assistant Team Captain
The CDBA has no specific physical requirements to participate. This is an easily accessible and learnable sport; however, if you have a specific health condition, please consult with your doctor or medical provider. In order to be on a novice team, you must be high school-aged or older.
There is no swimming requirement for being on a novice team. All team members will be required to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) during practices and at the race.
Yes; the 2017 race fee for Corporate Teams is $2,000 and for Community/Educational Novice Teams is $1,000. There are also sponsor packages available that include the race fees (see below) and other premium benefits. Novice race fees include 3 practices, with all coaching, steering and equipment provided for use in practices and on race day. Please follow the instructions on the registration form online for sending your payment.
My team is interested in becoming a sponsor for the Dragon Boat Festival and would like to know more information regarding who to contact as well as the sponsor benefits.
Great! Events like this one are made possible through your support! Teams may choose to become an official sponsor of the race day event and as such, sponsor teams’ race fees will be considered part of their sponsor contribution. For further details on sponsorship opportunities and benefits or donations, please contact Linda Cheu at email@example.com or Jeanie Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The races will be held on September 23 & 24, 2016 at Lake Merritt, Oakland. Novice races will be held on Saturday, September 23rd.
The novice race course is 300 meters, while the competitive race course is 500 meters. We will notify you of the final novice team race course details closer to the event date.
All novice team races are held on Saturday, September 23, 2016. We will not know your exact race times until the race grid is finalized a week or two before the race. However, you can plan on having teams arrive around
Suggested items to bring to practice:
- Layers, especially if practicing at Lake Merced.
- Water resistant and/or comfortable clothing. Quick dry shirts and workout or “tech” clothes tend to work best. Cotton can get wet and keep you cold.
- Water bottle.
- Sunscreen and hat or visor that will be secure while paddling.
- Sunglasses (secure them safely so that you do not lose them).
- Extra set of clothing and towel for after practice.
Paddles and Life Jackets will be provided at practices and race day. Also, please leave any non-essential valuables at home. Be sure to secure your car and not leave items in a viewable location while at practice.